NBA Trade Speculation: 5 Trades That Need to Happen This Season
This year's NBA trade deadline falls on March 15, giving teams almost another two months to decide whether they want to be buyers or sellers this spring.
Some deals, though, are destined to happen despite the direction the team is going.
These five deals should benefit all teams involved by filling needs, clearing cap space and freeing up minutes for the league's emerging stars.
As a final note, sorry, but you won't find any Dwight Howard trade speculation here as I believe he should stay in Orlando.
Nets, Grizzlies Swap Shooting Guards
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Anthony Morrow, second-round pick
New Jersey Nets Receive: O.J. Mayo
Let's face it, O.J. Mayo isn't going to be resigned by the Grizzlies, so why not get something for him?
Morrow is one of the league's best three-point shooters and would be a nice piece to come off the Memphis bench. He comes rather inexpensively at $4 million for this year and next.
New Jersey would provide a fresh start for Mayo and the opportunity to start in a backcourt with one of the league's best point guards and a possible return to his 18 points-per-game form.
Grizzlies New Starting Five:
PG: Mike Conley Jr.
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol
Bench: Morrow, Marreese Speights, Josh Selby, Dante Cunningham, Sam Young
Nets New Starting Five:
PG: Deron Williams
SG: O.J. Mayo
SF: Damion James
PF: Kris Humphries
C: Brook Lopez
Bench: Mehmet Okur, MarShon Brooks, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, Sundiata Gaines
Bulls Send Joakim Noah to Twin Cities
Chicago Bulls Receive: Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Joakim Noah
Noah has been disappointing for Chicago thus far this season as backup Omer Asik continues to see strong minutes. Moving Noah would not only mean big cap relief but a starting job for Asik. The Bulls once had to choose between Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley. Now they get both with Beasley as a go-to scorer off the bench who can play either forward position. Milicic fills the role of defensive backup center.
Minnesota not only gets a talented rebounder and defensive center in Noah, but it frees up a starting position for Derrick Williams as well. Kevin Love and Noah together would dominate on the glass and Minnesota could be competing for a playoff spot this year.
Bulls New Starting Five:
PG: Derrick Rose
SG: Rip Hamilton
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Omer Asik
Bench: Beasley, Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver
T'Wolves New Starting Five:
PG: Ricky Rubio
SG: Wes Johnson
SF: Derrick Williams
PF: Kevin Love
C: Joakim Noah
Bench: Luke Ridnour, Wayne Ellington, Anthony Randolph, Jose Barea, Martell Webster, Anthony Tolliver
Lakers Land Steve Nash
L.A. Lakers Receive: Steve Nash, Josh Childress
Phoenix Suns Receive: Darius Morris, Luke Walton, Derek Fisher, Devin Ebanks, first-round pick
The Lakers failed to get Chris Paul, and if they don't end up getting Dwight Howard, LA will be desperate to make some sort of move to fuel up for the playoffs. Steve Nash is still one of the game's elite playmakers and should help to inject life into a stagnant Lakers offense, if only for one playoff run before he hits free agency.
The Suns begin youth movement by dealing Nash primarily for Morris and the first-round pick. They make the Lakers take Childress and the four years left on his deal and in return take on the contracts of Walton and Fisher, both of which expire after next season. Devin Ebanks is a nice, young player, and with this deal the Suns get younger, free up more cap space for the future and acquire an additional first rounder.
Lakers New Starting Five:
PG: Steve Nash
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Matt Barnes
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Andrew Bynum
Bench: Metta World Peace, Childress, Steve Blake, Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts
Suns New Starting Five:
SG: Jared Dudley
SF: Grant Hill
PF: Markieff Morris
C: Marcin Gortat
Bench: Shannon Brown, Channing Frye, Robin Lopez, Ronnie Price, Hakim Warrick, Ebanks
Jazz, Kings, Bobcats Shake Up Roster
Utah Jazz Receive: D.J. Augustin, Boris Diaw, Jason Thompson, Isaiah Thomas, first-round pick (from Kings)
Charlotte Bobcats Receive: Paul Millsap
Sacramento Kings Receive: Devin Harris, D.J. White
Utah finds itself with a crowded frontcourt and will most likely be looking to move one of the higher-priced bigs in Millsap or Al Jefferson to make room for Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Moving Millsap and Harris saves cap space and brings in two talented point guards in Augustin and Thomas. Diaw can fill in at either forward position, and his expiring $9 million deal is very attractive. Thompson can play the four or five and the future first-rounder from Sacramento helps too.
The Bobcats don't seem to be in love with Augustin after drafting Kemba Walker, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's dealt despite enjoying a nice season. Dealing D.J. allows them to get a little bigger by moving Walker from shooting guard to point guard. Millsap is a stud power forward who the team can build around. Diaw wasn't going to be resigned, and giving up White would be worth it for Millsap.
It's no secret the Jazz have been shopping Harris due to his terribly unproductive season. The Kings desperately need a true point guard as Tyreke Evans leads them with 4.4 assists per game. Sacramento also receives D.J. White who would create a nice competition to push J.J. Hickson for the starting power forward spot. They won't resign Thompson anyways, so giving up him and Thomas along with a future first rounder would be well worth it for someone with Harris' skill set.
Jazz New Starting Five:
PG: D.J. Augustin
SG: Raja Bell/Alec Burks
SF: Gordan Hayward
PF: Derrick Favors
C: Al Jefferson
Bench: Kanter, Thomas, Diaw, Thompson, C.J. Miles
Bobcats New Starting Five:
PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson
SF: Corey Maggette
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Byron Mullens
Bench: Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo, Reggie Williams, Derrick Brown, Cory Higgins
Kings New Starting 5:
PG: Devin Harris
SG- Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF- J.J. Hickson
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Bench: Marcus Thornton, White, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, Travis Outlaw, Donte Greene
Celtics Begin Youth Movement
Boston Celtics Receive: Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins
Golden State Warriors Receive: Ray Allen, Jermaine O'Neal, Avery Bradley, JaJuan Johnson, first-round pick
Boston hates to get rid of Allen but knows they have to get younger to compete. Ellis can be a head case, but in a veteran locker room with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett he should be at his best. Ellis is the go-to scorer Pierce used to be and helps take pressure off the vets. Biedrins is overpriced but provides a young defensive presence down low.
The Warriors now become Stephen Curry's team and the addition of Allen proves to be a great mentor for Curry and Klay Thompson. JaJuan Johnson becomes the primary backup big, and the first rounder helps build for the future. O'Neal fills in for now but is primarily dealt to get rid of Biedrins's contract.
Celtics New Starting Five:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Andris Biedrins
Bench: Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, Greg Steimsma, Brandon Bass, Marquis Daniels
Warriors New Starting Five:
PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Dorell Wright
PF: David Lee
C: Jermaine O'Neal
Bench: Thompson, Kwame Brown, Ekpe Udoh, Nate Robinson, Johnson, Bradley